According to Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the highest-ranking Democrat on the House panel on Benghazi, someone connected to the committee leaked false information to the media to harm Hillary Clinton.
“Documents released recently by the Benghazi Select Committee demonstrate that a Member of the Committee, a staffer on the Committee, or someone who has been given access to the Committee’s documents inaccurately described to the press email exchanges obtained by the Committee in a way that appeared to further a political attack against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,” Cummings said in a letter to Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, the chairman of the committee.
In the letter, which was released on July 6, Cummings cited an article that appeared on Politico on June 17 which cited an anonymous source who claimed they read emails exchanged by Clinton and her confidant Sidney Blumenthal, Media Matters and the White House about how to reduce the negative coverage surrounding Clinton’s involvement in the 2012 incident at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans were killed.
The emails, which have been made public, did not reveal any efforts to protect Clinton’s image.
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“Unfortunately, this is only the latest in a reckless pattern of selective Republican leaks and mischaracterizations of evidence relating to the Benghazi attacks,” Cummings wrote, reports The Hill.
Cummings requested Gowdy investigate a potential leak. “… It now appears that someone who was given access to the Select Committee’s documents leaked doctored information to the press in order to make unsubstantiated allegations against Secretary Clinton.”
He added: “Since you have repeatedly refused my requests for the Select Committee to adopt rules — including protocols governing the release of documents obtained as part of the investigation — it is unclear how you propose to prevent this type of abuse from happening again in the future.”
This week, the panel could vote to release the transcript of Blumenthal’s nine-hour deposition. According to the anonymous source, whose credibility is in doubt, cited by Politico, Blumenthal was paid more than $10,000 a month by groups defending Hillary Clinton.
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